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Dog Days of Summer, By Dr. Louisa Asseo

Jun 27, 2016 11:51AM ● Published by Louisa Asseo

Dr. Louisa Asseo, owner of Oasis Veterinary Hospital

Summer is here! After being cooped up all winter, we look forward to fun outdoor activities that come with the season. Here are a few things to watch for during the summer months to keep your pets happy and healthy.

1.     Foxtails These pesky weeds are ubiquitous in our area. They can lodge themselves in your dog’s eyes, nose, and ears, between their toes, and in other unmentionable places. If your pet is outdoors around foxtails, be sure to check them thoroughly and remove any foxtails before they cause problems. If your pet is squinting his eye, shaking his head, or sneezing acutely after being outside, seek veterinary help immediately. If possible, remove the foxtail before it can cause more pain and injury.

2.     Hot pavement Sidewalks and pavements heat up during the day and can remain hot into the evening. These hot surfaces can burn the pads of our faithful companions. Feel the pavement before heading out for a walk. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them! 

3.     Fireworks As we celebrate our country’s independence, bear in mind that loud fireworks can easily scare even the mellowest of our companions. Ensure that your pets are kept in a secure place where they cannot injure themselves or escape in fear of loud noises. It may be helpful to leave on a radio or TV as “white noise” to help mask outside noises. Consider fitting them with a “Thunder Jacket” to give them a feeling of security. Sometimes it may be necessary to use medication to lessen their anxiety. Talk with your vet if you feel that your pet might need extra help during these times.

4.     BBQ Long summer days encourage us to make use of our outdoor grills, however, tasty meals can pose some threats to out canine companions. Bones can cause obstructions and irritation to their gastrointestinal tracts. In addition, most of the foods we enjoy are too rich for their bodies and can result in vomiting and diarrhea – or, more seriously, diseases such as pancreatitis. Remember to dispose of all bones where our furry friends cannot access them.

5.     Pesky bugs Summer days and nights bring out a host of parasites that can be dangerous to dogs, cats, and small mammals. Mosquitos can transmit heartworm disease. Ticks can transmit a host of diseases. Fleas can cause itching, allergy, and skin diseases. Talk to your vet about which parasite preventatives are right for your pet.

Once again, I hope you all enjoy the great outdoors this month, but remember to help keep your beloved companions safe.

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